Recently, we held a competition for Psychologies’ readers, with a chance to win one of our new ‘Breathe’ or ‘Peace’ bar necklaces. The mantras for these invite peace, stillness and calm into our days: ‘I breathe in calmness, I breathe out stress’, and ‘May your life be filled with serenity and peace’.
We asked readers to tell us why they particularly needed peace or calmness in their lives – and we were so moved by the hundreds of heartfelt responses.
Almost everyone had a painful or difficult experience, or set of circumstances, that they were having to deal with: from looking after unwell children; to supporting ageing parents; to bereavement; to stress, anxiety and panic attacks; to break ups and divorce; to losing their job; facing cancer; supporting friends through addiction; or struggling to conceive.
The stories brought to my mind the important piece of advice we should all follow in life: ‘Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle you know nothing about. Be kind.’
In the end, however, all the stories were ultimately uplifting, as many readers talked of ‘trying to maintain positivity’ and ‘still being grateful for all the positives in my life’, or ‘taking baby steps forward’ with their lives.
Our winner had lost her father and her brother this year, and often loses her voice with anxiety – but was looking to the future to find a way of bringing calm and hope into her life.
I hope 2018 brings a sense of moving forwards positively in all of our lives. One of my favourite mantras, ‘When life pulls you back, aim forwards’ reminds me always to keep going forwards, no matter how difficult life seems. We can’t stop bad things from happening in life, but we can change how we react to them, staying calm, positive and optimistic for the future.